This course helps entrepreneurs and startups create a banker-ready business plan from scratch using award-winning StratPad software.
Its 20 short lessons walk you through the creation of your business plan, step-by-step. Follow along in StratPad and you'll complete your business plan by the end of the course. You should be able to complete the course (and your business plan) in a single day.
- the 7 key questions that you must answer to get a loan or investment
- how to break your plan down into manageable pieces
- the numbers you need to create your financial projections
- how to strengthen your plan with metrics
- how to build accountability into your plan
The course contains everything you need except for a StratPad account. Get your free 7-day StratPad account at the StratPad website.
Learn how to create and name a new plan, then learn how to share it with your team.
Describe your customers and clients.
StratPad automatically creates your reports as you go, allowing you to watch your plan as it takes shape.
Describe the key problems faced by your customers, how you address those problems, and how you intend to make money.
Give your audience a larger context and give your team focus by describing your long-term aspiration.
Describe the various groups of work will help you achieve your strategic goal.
If you're a startup, this video will explain how to structure your Projects to begin at square one.
If you have an existing business and want your plan to supplement it, this video explains how to factor that into your planning process.
Once you've written your narrative and created some Projects, you can see the reports start to come together dynamically.
Creating specific, measurable Objectives helps focus and align your staff, and keeps you accountable.
Once you've created your Objectives, you'll want to create more specific tasks that will help you hit your numbers.
How long does it take you to get paid? Use the slider bar to set your Accounts Receivable days.
How long does it take you to pay your suppliers? Use the slider bar to set your Accounts Payable days.
Have you got cash from prior to the start of your plan? Note it in the Opening Balances section.
If you've taken out a loan, you can add it to your plan here.
If you have any assets, you can add them to your Balance Sheet here.
Has anybody invested in your business? If so, you can add their investment to your plan in the Equity Investments section.
So, you've finished your plan. Now what? A final overview and some tips for when you're ready to submit your plan. Congratulations!
Hi there! I'm a strategy and business prof who likes to keep things simple. I'm also an entrepreneur who's been through the wringer a time or two. See the grey hair? Yes, there's lots of it. Want to know why? Because each of these grey hairs came from a problem, an issue, a challenge in one of my companies. Well, some of them came from my two kids but that's a whole other story!
You know what I wish? I wish some grey-haired guy had shared his experiences with me 34 years ago when I started out as an entrepreneur. Would've saved me so much time and money. Except, I guess, there was no Internet back then. Or computers. Or Udemy. Oh well, never mind... :-)
My courses are all designed to help small business people. Each lesson is short - a minute or two, most of them - because who's got the time? Plus, I believe that short and simple is better. Oh, and they're free so you can just jump right in and get what you need.
Full disclosure: I also own StratPad, a software company that helps entrepreneurs create business plans. So some of the lessons have StratPad's logo on them. Hope you don't mind. Who knows, though? You just might need a business plan some day and then you can try StratPad for free.
Enjoy the lessons, I hope they help you, and feel free to tell me about your business adventures on Twitter and LinkedIn. I'd love to hear your stories!
All the best,
P.S. Here's some more details about me and my grey hair...
• serial entrepreneur working on 4th startup
• founder/designer of StratPad (cloud software that creates business plans for entrepreneurs)
• adjunct professor of business strategy and planning, Royal Roads University
• MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
• former "big-five" management consultant